Ecosystems of the Planet - Congo Basin CS Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Ecosystems of the Planet - Congo Basin CS Deck (18)
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Where is the Congo Basin Located?

Spans across six countries. Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, DRC, CAR Gabon, Republic of Congo 


What size is Congo Basin Rainforest?

500 million acres


What percent of the world's remaining rainfrorest does it make up?



How many people live in the Congo Basin?

75 million 


Who are the Hunter-gatherer people?

Ba'ka people 


What percentage of plants are unique to the region? 



Number of plant species



How many species of animals?

400 species of mammals, 1,000 species of birds and 700 species of fish 


Endangered Animals 

Forest elephants, chimpanzees, bonobos, and lowland and mountain gorillas


Examples of Interdependency in the Congo basin rainforest

  • Strangler Figs:Seeds deposited by mammals/birds and needs trees to grow around, provides niche and food source to invertebrates, rodents, bats, reptiles, amphibians, and birds, provides fig fruits for Bonobo

  • Bonobo: Find food in canopy (25-40m high), 57% diet from fruit, but supplemented with leaves, honey, eggs, and meat from small vertebrates e.g. anomalures, flying squirrels and duikers

  • Congolese people: Reliant on bush meat for protein (Bonobo's and gorillas) and use leaves and rots for over 50 traditonal medicines 

  • Moabi Tree: Key food source for elephants

  • Elephants: Distribute moabi seeds 


What is the value of he Congo Basin Rainforest?

  • Home to ½ of elephants on continent, most gorillas, Bonobo and Okapi reliant on the forest

  • Key store of carbon - 22.9 gigatons of carbon stored in DRC

  • Tin, Coltan(80% of worlds coltan)

  • Indigenous tribes live off rainforest e.g bush beat. Also place of refuge in the times of strife 


What are the threats to the Congo Basin Rainforest?

  • Deforestation (Logging, mining, agriculture): 

             Deforestation rate: between 0.15 and 0.20% per year (250,000 to                 300,000 hectares)

             Currently estimated that 30% of the Congo rainforest will have                       disappeared by 2030

  • Poaching: Since 1980, the Central African Elephant population has declined by 62% (due to demand for ivory)

  • Bush meat trade: Up to 1.7 million tonnes of bushmeat are harvested annually 


Positives of Virunga National Park (management)

Virunga National Park: 

  • The ranger force and improved surveillance stop illegal logging and poaching in the park’s 7800 km2
  • Increase in tourist activities will provide income for locals
  • 60,000 new jobs by 2025
  • Improved drinking water, health and education for 4 million people by 2025


Positives of Sustainable Forest Certification (management)

Sustainable Forest Certification: 

  • Internationally renowned for transparency and quality of work. They are independent and so free from corruption in govt
  • FSC criteria includes whether the rights of local and indigenous peoples are respected and whether there are safe working conditions. 
  • The GFTN train local communities
  • 5 million hectares of rainforest have been FSC certified (an area larger than the Netherlands)


Positives of World Bank Funding (management) 

World Bank Funding:

  • ​Reduced deforestation due to kerosene stoves and alternative farming methods = 4.5 million tonnes reduction in CO2 equivalent
  • Improved quality cooking stoves for people in Kinshasa


Negatives of Virunga National Park (management)

Virunga National Park:

  • In 1994, the Rwandan genocide saw more than one million refugees place tremendous pressure on the park forests
  • In 2007, members of an illegal charcoal mafia murdered a family of mountain gorillas
  • Management problems - the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) are in charg


Negatives of Sustainable Forest Certification (management)

Sustainable Forest Certification:

  • GFTN only monitors logging, doesn’t prevent logging
  • Independent audits of the GFTN saw them to mismanage much of the donated money.
  • The GFTN give countries a 5 year grace period when they join when there is still no punishment for illegal logging


Negatives of World Bank Funding (management)

World Bank Funding:

  • Money is channelled through the government which has a poor record for corruption
  • Focus on Kinshasa when 60% of the DRC lives in rural areas